|Hans Zimmer Percussion captures Jason Bonham playing in three different studios, including the Sony recording stage.
EVERY TIME I think I have a surfeit of sampled
drum kits, something comes along that tells
me “think again.” Spitfire Audio’s HZ02 Hans
Zimmer Percussion Los Angeles (£199 or about
) captures Jason Bonham
playing his DW Vistalite kit in three different
studios; Alan Meyerson, Geoff Foster, and Hans
Zimmer recorded and mixed the project.
HZ02 can be used standalone, in Kontakt 5
or Kontakt 5 Player, or as an RTAS/AAX/ AU/VST plug-in. The 23GB download includes
samples from a variety of mic perspectives—
close, overhead, room, and gated room. You
also get a splendid kit derived from Zimmer’s
huge analog modular synthesizer.
Apart from Zimmer’s kit, there are
subfolders for the three recording locations:
Cathedral (Zimmer’s facility); the Sony
recording stage; and the Newman stage at 20th
Century Fox studios.
While the subfolders contain fully mapped
drum kits, the real action lies in creating Multis
from individual elements—cymbals, kicks,
snares, and toms—whose folders sit alongside the
complete kit. Tools to sculpt your sound include
Pitch, Boom and Crack (lowpass and highpass
filters, respectively), in addition to the mixer
where you choose different mic perspectives.
I prefer the close-miked kits, which possess a
sweet ambience, but it’s nice to have options.
Overall, the kicks are meaty and punchy,
with the thunderous Newman bass drum being
a cinematic standout. The cymbals sparkle; the
Dual Combo cymbal rolls have a realistic attack
and generous decay. Round robins for the ride
bells keep them lively and pingy, while the hihats
are kept from sounding mechanistic. The
snares have plenty of snap and presence, and
the Gated Room (only available for some snares)
can be subtly mixed in for a little sizzle (or way
up for some ’80s character). The snares and
toms include realistic flams, and some of the
crash sounds are accompanied by kicks.
All in all, HZ02 sounds fabulous—
bombastic and laden with attitude. They’re
perfect for standard and progressive rock as
well as hard-edged pop.